The criminal court has scheduled the witnesses’ testimony in the second trial of Raajje TV journalist Mohamed Wisam.
Wisam is accused of obstructing police officers during the station’s coverage of an anti-government protest on March 25 last year.
Adam Zareer, a cameraman at Raajje TV who was arrested along with Wisam and held for five days, was also charged over the incident and is on trial.
The sentencing hearing in the Obstruction of Police Duty case against Zareer has been scheduled for 27 February 2017. The sentencing was initially scheduled for yesterday before the hearing was cancelled as the Judge took a sick leave on the day.
The charge against him states that on March 25, 2015, Zareer forcefully entered the closed area at the junction of Boduthakurufaanu Magu and Dhidhi Goalhi due to an opposition protest rally and pushed against the Police shields and obstructed the Police from doing their job.
When Zareer refused to the charges, the court has taken witness testimonies to prove the crime.
While the defense lawyer Abdulla Haseen said that the video evidence provided by the State supports the testimonies given by the defense witnesses. Haseen said that the video shows Zareer wearing the pass issued by the Broadcasting Commission with the camera and does not show him doing anything mentioned in the charge against him and so his client cannot be convicted.
While Zareer is charged with Obstructing Police officers, Wisam and Leevan Ali Nasir are convicted of tackling a police officer. Both of them are the first journalists to be convicted in more than a decade. Sentencing of Wisam and Leevan has been postponed to January 24, 2017, while originally the sentencing was scheduled for December 19, 2016.
A second trial of Wisam, in which testimony is scheduled to be delivered on Wednesday at 1 pm.